My first impressions

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tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1248
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Location: Anchorage Alaska

My first impressions

Post by tsunamichuck »

I paddled the Atatl briefly on calm waters, one day there was 10-15kt breeze blowing. I also found the manual pretty vague but was able to get the boat together.
I really like how the kayak handles. It rolls easily but was not twitchy. I like the size of the cockpit and the cockpit lends itself well for a nice fit.
The good: The handling. Easy to hold on course and felt very lively in the water. I also liked that trapeze foot brace. The backpack is a lot like the Feathercraft and there is lots of space. With my paddling gear ( paddle, PFD, pump and paddle float) the packed boat weighed in at 42lbs, well under the airline 50lb wt limit and had plenty of room for other stuff. This a really portable kayak.
Could use improvement: The included skirt is pretty flimsy. I also had issues of the keel bar seperating from the ribs in the cockpit ( all the other attachment held fine). My fix will be to tie a strap around the rib and the keelbar.
Adding a seasock and flotation bags will make this a very seaworthy little craft.
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

Alm

Re: My first impressions

Post by Alm »

tsunamichuck wrote: The included skirt is pretty flimsy. I also had issues of the keel bar seperating from the ribs in the cockpit ( all the other attachment held fine). My fix will be to tie a strap around the rib and the keelbar.
I had similar issues with that ill-conceived Russian L-1 - stringers were coming off the rib clamps. Had to use steel hose clamps, as the tension (to keep the tube in place) was tremendous. If yours doesn't have a lot of tension, you can do what Folbot did on Cooper - Velcro strap with buckle, permanently attached to the rib. Coop had this problem too, before the straps. Many folders don't include sprayskirts in standard package (L-1 did include a skirt, and it was a junk, but a nylon skirt from a hardshell that I happened to have, worked fine).

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tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1248
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Location: Anchorage Alaska

Re: My first impressions

Post by tsunamichuck »

figure a couple of 2 ft sections of nylon webbing like that used for tiedown straps will do the trick. Getting the stern tension8ing a bit tighter delayed the seperations for a bit. Eventually, I will get this into a surfzone and put it through some paces. I have a neoprene skirt that works just fine. It is a pretty decent little boat.
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

jtmusiel

Re: My first impressions

Post by jtmusiel »

Tsunamichuck,

I am glad to here that your impressions were positive - I feel validated.

What was your experience with the velcro flap over the zipper? That was the one area I found flawed on the boat. I'm wondering if there is some trick to getting better closure that I am missing.

Though I failed to mention it in my review, I also had the keel pop out of the clip behind the cockpit. I figured that it could easily be fixed with a velcro strap or two.

JT

mje
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Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: My first impressions

Post by mje »

I'd be curious as to how you guys think the boat compares with other boats in that price range.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Alm

Re: My first impressions

Post by Alm »

mje wrote:I'd be curious as to how you guys think the boat compares with other boats in that price range.
There is only Puffin in this price range. Plus Citibot, very different boat, AFAIK, makes little sense comparing. I, for one, would've been more interested to hear how "Atlyak" compares to other of similar size, i.e. narrow short-touring (or day paddling): Kiawah, Puffin, K-light.

PS: looked at the photos in your review - backpack is strikingly similar to FC. Have to give it to Chinese, imitation (to put it that way) is what they do well :-) ...

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tsunamichuck
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1248
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Location: Anchorage Alaska

Re: My first impressions

Post by tsunamichuck »

I got the Ataltl out for a 5 mile paddle today. Again it was pretty calm. 1 thing I did not mention was the sponsons that came with the boat were not holding air. I tried to patch them but there were too many leaks. Wang Ning offered to send me some replacements through his US distributor. After a month long delay and some attitude, I was sent a pair of replacement sponsons. They were also leaking, badly. After the holidays, I ordered some Aleut sponsons from Folbot and using these. Not a perfect, but very adequate fix. I would recomend contacting Feathercraft and using Koho sponsons if available.

As far as handling, I like the boat more than the Aleut, not as much as the K Light but this is an easier boat to roll than the Kahuna or K Light. The Feathercrafts win hands down for comfort, but the Aleut seat can be replaced. As far as service, Feathercraft and Folbot both give great service and are a quick phone call away. Got a storm coming in. Might take the Atatl out for a bit in the slop and chop.
Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Aire Tributary Sawtooth

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